On April 28, 2015, the Montana Legislature adjourned from its 2015 Legislative Session. Having passed multiple pro-gun bills to the Governor’s desk, 2015 has shaped up to be a busy year for Montana gun owners and sportsmen. Thank you to NRA members and Second Amendment supporters who contacted their lawmakers in support of pro-gun legislation.
As previously reported, Governor Steve Bullock (D) vetoed Senate Bill 295, NRA-supported legislation to allow the use of suppressors while hunting. At the same time, Governor Bullock signed into law his own version of SB 295, House Bill 250. While HB 250 contains language less clear and concise than SB 295, the result is much the same: Montana hunters are now permitted to use legally owned suppressors while hunting.
House Bill 298, as previously reported, was sent to Governor Bullock’s desk for his consideration. Unfortunately, Governor Bullock vetoed HB 298 stating incorrectly that, “HB 298 erodes the ability of a Montana citizen to purchase a weapon or carry concealed in another state.” Sponsored by state Representative Bill Harris (R-29), HB 298 sought to expand Montanan’s freedom to legally carry a concealed firearm without a Montana concealed weapons permit (CWP) by harmonizing the carry laws present in city limits with those outside city limits. House Bill 298 would not have eroded the rights of Montanans, as the Governor claims, because it would not have removed the current permitting process. This legislation would have only brought uniformity to the state and given Montanans the freedom to choose the best method of carrying for them, based on their attire, gender and/or physical attributes.
Senate Bill 143, sponsored by Senator Cary Smith (R-27), would have prohibited restrictions on firearms that prevent law-abiding adults from protecting themselves on college and university campuses. Unfortunately, this legislation was defeated by a narrow margin on second reading due to opposition from anti-gun legislators.
Throughout the 2015 Legislative Session it became more apparent that out-of-state money was being injected into the firearm issue by former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg. His anti-gun group, Everytown for Gun Safety, has spent tens of thousands of dollars and hired three lobbyists in Montana who are working hard to disseminate misinformation and hinder the expansion of your Second Amendment rights in Big Sky Country. This year was only the beginning. Bloomberg is laying the groundwork for future endeavors towards pushing his anti-gun political agenda.
It is critical that gun owners and sportsmen continue to stay informed and involved through NRA-ILA Alerts.